Shalman Dentistry

Tooth Infection

Once you develop an infection in your tooth, it becomes an emergency. Seek treatment as soon as possible. A tooth infection, called an abscess, can lead to host of complications that may affect your overall health if left untreated. When you take your dental issues to Dr. Alex Shalman at his Downtown NYC boutique dental practice, you’re given the time and attention you need to fully understand your condition, the risks involved and the possible treatment options. And since Dr. Shalman is a top cosmetic dentist as well, he ensures that your appearance is successfully restored, along with any other treatments provided. Call today for an appointment to get out of pain.

How Does a Tooth Infection Occur?

When bacteria get to the root of a tooth, there’s a high risk that it can lead to a tooth infection, also referred to as an abscessed tooth. The internal structure of a tooth is complex and contains pulp, nerve roots and other soft tissue. Infections occur when the tooth surface or the gum suffers damage, allowing bacteria into the tooth’s sensitive internal area. There are three main types of tooth infections:

  • Periapical abscess. This is an infection at the tip of a tooth’s root due to untreated dental cavity.
  • Gingival abscess. This type of infection occurs when a foreign body gets stuck in your gums and isn’t cleaned away.
  • Periodontal abscess. This is an infection in the gums at the side of the tooth root.
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The infection originates from this inner pulp chamber in the root of the tooth. The hypersensitivity of the pulp nerve roots in a tooth makes infections very painful. If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, it’s a good reason to visit your dentist immediately for emergency care. It can eventually spread to the jaw bone. Failure to treat an infection can lead to the loss of your tooth or even life-threatening conditions. Dr. Alex Shalman, a renowned dentist in Lower Manhattan, runs a boutique dental practice where he makes time to treat your tooth infection or any other painful dental condition as soon as possible. A fifth-generation dentist, he focuses on pain-relieving procedures.

Tooth Infection

What Causes Tooth Infections?

Bacteria invading a damaged tooth or diseased gums are the primary causes of a tooth infection. Other main causes include:

You may be more liable to get a tooth infection than other people. The risk factors for a tooth abscess include:

  • Poor dental hygiene over a long period of time
  • Bruxism, which is clenching or grinding your teeth
  • A diet that’s high in sugar content
  • The presence of previous dental work

What Are the Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection?

When your dentist does a root canal procedure, the inside canal of your tooth gets thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected. If some bacteria remain, it can cause an infection that affects not just the tooth, but your gums, bone and neighboring teeth. The most apparent symptom of an infected tooth is excruciating pain, although the level varies from one person to another. Tooth infection pain also manifests as:

  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Pain radiating to your ear or neck
  • Sensitivity when eating or drinking cold or hot things
  • Tenderness in your gums
  • Throbbing tooth pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Pain that worsens when you lie down
  • Cheek swelling and pain
  • Tender and swollen lymph nodes in your neck

Other side effects of a root canal infection include:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Fever
  • An unpleasant metallic taste in your mouth
  • Swollen and red gums

If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible. Through early diagnosis, Dr. Shalman can treat the affected tooth to avoid further complications. Treatment not only deals with the pain, but offers a permanent solution to the underlying cause of the infection.

What’s the Treatment for a Tooth Infection?

Treatments for an infected tooth depend on the extent of the damage. An early diagnosis helps to avert complications, such as osteomyelitis, cavernous sinus thrombosis or sepsis. Your dentist carries out diagnostic exams and tests to determine the extent of infection and the underlying cause. Treatment options include:

  • A root canal procedure
  • Apicoectomy, also called a root-end resection
  • Removing a foreign object in your gums
  • Antibiotics
  • Pus drainage
  • Treatment of sepsis
  • Pain medication
  • Tooth extraction
  • Surgery

How Can I Prevent Tooth Infection?

The best prevention of tooth infections is to visit your Lower Manhattan dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups and early detection of cavities and gum disease. Additionally, lifestyle changes proven to help prevent tooth infections include:

  • Practicing proper dental hygiene, which means brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Replacing your toothbrush every three months
  • Flossing daily
  • Limiting sugary content in your diet
  • Drinking fluoridated water

A tooth infection can alter your life by causing debilitating pain. It’s impossible to work or attend school with such pain. There’s also a risk of developing other life-threatening conditions originating from the infected tooth.

By leveraging the latest dental technology, Dr. Shalman effectively diagnoses and treats tooth infections and other dental problems. Other dental procedures available at his boutique practice include cosmetic services like implants and dental bridges in case you lose a tooth due to an infection. Contact Dr. Shalman today for the most comprehensive dental care in Manhattan.

Updated on Feb 24, 2023 by Dr. Alex Shalman (Dentist) of Shalman Dentistry

Shalman Dentistry
44 W 10th St #1A
New York, NY 10011
(10th St, between 5th & 6th Avenue)
(212) 658-1093
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